“In my hardest moments, where I thought ‘what am I doing, I’m not strong enough for this, I can’t get through this, I’m not ready,’ I just have to say jump! Because, I know I’m gonna land in that water and swim back on the boat and I’m going to jump again and land in the water and swim back to the boat. I have to trust myself.” – Beyonce

I have to trust God.

“Have you been skydiving?” he asked.

“No, not yet,” I responded.


I have yet to jump out of a plane, but as 2016 comes to an end and 2017 to a beginning, it sure feels like I’m about to.

As I’m scrolling through my social media feeds and timelines, I cannot help but notice that everyone appears to be incredibly thrilled to be jumping into 2017.

My post of choice?
screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-2-26-46-pmCaption: Here comes 2017.

In other words, I feel apprehensive ‘af’.

As much as I love life’s modifications, change makes me quite nervous. Change is unpredictable. Change calls for one to make bold actions and decisions without the satisfaction of knowing the end all result. Change requires growth (ouch) and enormous, blind faith. As author, Nadia Bolz-Weber, describes in so many words, change requires that certain things be put to death in order for other things to be resurrected. And this year, I feel it more than ever.

This ride into 2017 feels much like how it use to feel waiting in the line for the tallest, toughest, coolest roller coaster in the theme park (man I loved coasters) with one of my favorite friends. It’s the feeling I would get when we finally became next in line. When we climbed into our seats, buckled up, second guessed our decision too late, began to inch up the incredibly steep hill, and had finally reached the top. At this point, you could see the entire park. And like then, although I was thrilled for the ride forward I am also quite nervous about it too.

That’s where I am today. I coasted through 2016 quite comfortably. Took leaps outside of my comfort zone (gave up alcohol just to see if it would bring clarity/focus, took an incredibly beautiful trip cross country with my 8 year old, published a book, began a post with a Beyonce quote gasp, read thoughts out loud that I wouldn’t have even shared with my closet friend and dared to call it poetry, fell in love with new songs and artists, etc etc etc) but not jumps. 2016 was not the year for a single jump, just pretty leaps and rides along pretty coasts. To make things worse (or better, depending on how you look at it), the someone I had there to hold my hand, laugh at my jokes, reassure me of my decisions, provide constructive criticism of my work, reveal my character flaws, push me to publish my book, then purchase nearly two dozen of them after I published it (eh, should’ve been three), gave me enormous (enormous) headaches, contribute to my green smoothie addiction just to turn around and make fun of me for it, call me “incredible,” “perfect,” and “remarkably beautiful,” nearly every time we communicated…. has to be left in 2016. Not because of anger or betrayal but choice.

Death is literally being brought to everything and anything that causes me to rely on anything but God; and it hurts. Bruh, I’m not even craving cookies, pies, and cakes! Life, resurrection, change, and incredible growth is being brought in with 2017.

So this post is for the apprehensive.

ITS OKAY TO BE APPREHENSIVE. It’s okay to be excited and nervous at the same time. It’s okay not to be thrilled. It’s also okay to just be 🙂  To the ones that are not harlem shaking, milly rocking, and line dancing their way into 2017, but instead are gracefully two stepping, awkwardly body rolling, smiling, feeling for a railing to hold onto in a room filled with discomforts and unknowns, and nervously hair flipping alone or with the ones they love… I’m with you.

A good friend once told me before going on stage…”Maquita nerves are good. You should be nervous. If you weren’t nervous, you’d be doing something wrong…” guess this is me doing a whole lot of something right.

Jumps out of airplane

Stay Polished Pistil,

Maquita Donyel


Alexandria + Native | Arlington + Resident | Late Twenties
| I Love = God + Mini + Simple Thrills + Art + Love + Humility

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